Helen Tart is a native North Carolinian who has lived in Raleigh since 1975 and in her neighborhood near downtown since 1989. She is an editor at NC State and an avid environmentalist. She lives with her dog Ali in 768 square feet and drives an electric car.

Congratulations to the new members of the council. I am hoping your election will lead to a new climate of openness and citizen cooperation from this new council, and not just from the new members.

As I pointed out at the last council meeting, the results of the recent election make it clear that the people that live in Raleigh now have not been happy with the leadership of the city for the past three years.

While I also think a learning curve will be necessary, as was said in the remarks at the council swearing in ceremony, it is not the new members that need to do the learning.

The members of the previous council that remain have much to learn from their new colleagues about transparency, listening, and reaching out to current residents for their guidance.

The past council got much wrong in their three years. I would advise the new members of this council to think very carefully before following any leadership from remaining members of the previous council.

Good luck to all the members of this new council on the journey you are taking together. Thank you.

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